2011 Review of CompuPay — PowerPayroll


CompuPay - PowerPayroll

Best Fit: Accountants or companies who need a web-based payroll application with outsourced tax filing and payment processing services, as well as organizations that need to manage payroll for businesses with less than 200 total employees.

From the Sept. 2011 Review of Professional Payroll Programs

PowerPayroll is the middle-tier payroll service offering from CompuPay. As with the other CompuPay offerings, XpressPayroll and PayrollOnline, both reviewed separately in this year’s payroll review, PowerPayroll is a web-based online payroll service. PowerPayroll is a fully outsourced payroll solution designed for small businesses or larger companies with multiple worksites.


  • Offers all-inclusive, full-service payroll with support for unlimited application users.
  • Garnishments, benefit accrual calculations, general ledger export and support for multi-state withholding for employees available for an additional charge.
  • CompuPay assists clients with initial setup of employees, deductions, vacation/sick time accruals and other information.
  • Included employee self-service portal can be configured to allow pay stub & W-2 download.

Potential Limitations

  • Certified payroll & job cost reporting not supported.




PowerPayroll builds on CompuPay’s entry-level XpressPayroll solution by adding support for unlimited users. Each user can also be assigned a series of rights that allow or block access to various areas of payroll processing or reporting. Although multiple users may login to the system at once, only one user may run payroll at any given time. Any changes made by other users during the payroll run will not be saved.

Once subscribed to PowerPayroll, clients provide their information to CompuPay, who then processes the required file setup. Information provided to CompuPay might include desired pay rate descriptions, current vacation/sick time accrual balances and associated policies, employee listing and demographic information, and requested department descriptions, among other items. CompuPay will then set up the PowerPayroll file for clients to start running payroll. Each data-entry screen can be customized for both earnings and deduction columns to better suit the client’s needs. Any other necessary modifications in the future will be done by the client. This upfront setup ensures the integrity of the file system and reduces the setup required for new users. Dollar threshold amounts can be set for individual payroll checks and total direct deposits, and when used, help to ensure excess paychecks are not issued in error. These limits may be changed at any time through a formal request to CompuPay.

Paying employees through PowerPayroll is relatively effortless and consists of choosing pay dates and entering appropriate time information. The maximum number of employees supported for each client is approximately 200. All states and localities are supported and, unlike XpressPayroll, multiple states may be used within each payroll run. Additionally, each employee paycheck can include any number of additions and deductions as well as multiple departments and state withholding. Garnishments are supported and payments are submitted via paper check to appropriate recipients. Direct deposit is available with support for up to four bank and investment accounts per employee. Additionally, employees can opt to split each paycheck between direct deposit and a paper check. Garnishments, vacation/sick time accruals and direct deposits are each offered as an additional service.


As a fully outsourced payroll service, PowerPayroll submits all tax payments and required reports on behalf of the client. All payments and reports are filed electronically if the taxing authority accepts electronic submissions. All other payments and reports are submitted via paper. Clients can opt to receive paper copies of any report filed through PowerPayroll, other than the quarterly reports, which are kept on site. Each document requested is sent via overnight mail after each payroll run. All reports are available 30 minutes after each payroll run and are archived for seven years. All archived documents may be viewed, saved or printed by clients at any time.

PowerPayroll groups reports by year with subsets of each payroll run date. Users can select one or multiple dates to be include on various reports. PowerPayroll has eight standard payroll reports and allows for full customization of reports through a number of filters. Also included is an employee master file report, which provides a complete payroll picture of each employee through their last respective payroll. PowerPayroll features a free service called PayrollReminder, which allows creation of reminders for the due dates for any task, such as upcoming pay dates, holidays or certification due dates. Each of these reminders is then emailed to the client on a predetermined time scale.


PowerPayroll does not natively support integration with any third-party accounting general ledger (GL) software. However, PowerPayroll will create a GL export file as an additional service upon request. This will allow for seamless integration with the current accounting solution in use by the client. Time data can be imported from third-party vendors through text files. PowerPayroll integrates with a preferred 401K provider but also works with many other investment and health benefit providers.


Each PowerPayroll subscriber is assigned a dedicated support representative to help answer any questions about the product and to aid in necessary troubleshooting. Also available through the home screen is the Customer Corner, where clients can access recent news from PowerPayroll regarding holidays and any changes in support hours. Users also have the ability to submit questions through online forms and via email, both of which go directly to and are answered by the dedicated support staff.


PowerPayroll’s PayView feature allows employees access to various employment record information, such as pay stub history and tax documents. Employees can also submit changes to basic information, such as address and dependent information, which goes directly to supervisors for approval and then passes on to the payroll service.


PowerPayroll provides an easy-to-use product with a high level of support and is a cost-effective solution for small businesses that do not have the resources to dedicate to a full-time payroll or human resource staff person. Pricing is based on the number of employees within the company and the frequency of the payroll runs. Each base fee includes direct deposit and one native home state. Additional charges for services such as garnishments, time accruals and GL export are each available for an additional fee. A 10-employee business processing payroll either biweekly or semimonthly is currently priced at $67.75 per employee, per payroll run. This price includes all tax services, direct deposit, new hire reporting and some online self-service HR functions.

2011 Overall Rating: